Unfortunately, you have to worry about RV theft. The good news is that there are many inexpensive, practical, and easy-to-implement strategies to keep your RV safe from wannabe thieves. Find out what they are and our own experience with RV theft.
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Our Theft Story
In June of 2019, we had a theft in the RV. It was so unexpected. We had been to this RV park before and never had an issue. We had already been to 18 states and countless RV parks, campgrounds, state parks, and boondocking locations without an incident.
The good news is that they only stole our portable gas can. It wasn’t secured and was on our RV back rack. We use the back rack to keep things like this and a few other RV supplies.
On occasion, we keep our generator back there too, but we secure it with a combination coiled lock. It was an unfortunate event, but it could have been much worse. After this experience, we have been researching RV safety and how to prevent other RV thefts.
Prevent Your RV from being Stolen
You’ve heard the stories of people’s RVs being stolen. Sometimes from storage units and other times while traveling and unattended. Regardless of where it happens, it is also a heartbreaking experience, but RV owners can prevent it.
All RVs can be made immovable by locking the wheels. There’s the classic boot, but you can also use lockable wheel chocks. These are more practical for RVs in storage or if you will be staying in the same location for long periods. Clear it with management before installing it if you plan to use it in a campground or RV park.
For Travel Trailers, you will want to use a hitch lock/coupler lock. This device will prevent a wannabe thief from hitching up your RV to their hitch ball by blocking and locking your travel trailer hitch. These devices are inexpensive and easy to install. The beauty of this theft deterrent is that you can use it while your travel trailer is in storage or while you are RV camping.
Got a Fifth Wheel? Get yourself a king pin lock. The lock will prevent anyone from hitching up your RV and driving away. Like the hitch lock/coupler lock for travel trailers, the king pin lock is inexpensive and easy to install. You can also use the lock while storing your fifth wheel or while you are RV camping.
You can secure your Motorhomes like other motor vehicles. Install a club or similar device to make the steering wheel unusable and install a vehicle alarm. Both of these items are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And if they keep a thief at bay, it will save you a lot of money and stress.
Best Ways to Prevent Breaking and Entering
Replace your RV Locks
Like so many other things in your RV, replace those RV locks!! Did you know that most RV storage compartment locks are universal (universal CH751 lock set)?! Yep! So that means that if you lose your keys, chances are your RV neighbor can use their keys to open your storage doors. Yikes!
Your front entry door is more secure, or at least that’s what I read during my research. The deadbolts are unique to the RV, but there are master keys that the dealers use for their RVs on the sales lot. Sometimes, that master key is what the seller hands you as your key on sales day.
Your best bet is to replace those locks pronto.
You can easily install a new deadbolt or a keyless entry system for your entry doors. Either one will help make your RV doors more secure and make it less likely that a thief will be able to break in.
You can re-key or replace your storage compartment locks with combi-locks. Doing so may prevent someone from going through your storage areas and taking your items, or worse, being able to gain access to the inside of your RV!
Install a Security and/or Video Surveillance System
I never thought I would need a security system or video surveillance system in an RV. After my research, I’m finding that it is an excellent option to prevent theft, even in an RV. Hippie and the Tech recently installed Ring. A video surveillance system. Since they have installed it, I have been wondering if it might be necessary for us as well.
Common Sense Theft Prevention Techniques
Are you heading out for the evening? Leave those lights on!
Nothing will deter a wannabe thief like an RV lit up inside and outside. That’s why you see all those retail stores with their lights on, even after hours.
Whether you have a house or apartment or are full-timing it in an RV, there are some things you can do to help prevent theft in your home. You may know some of these already, but it never hurts to get a quick reminder.
Use those locks!
Please don’t make it easy for someone to come inside when you aren’t home. Keep all your doors and windows locked and secure, especially when you are away.
Close your Curtains!
Closing your curtains will keep strangers from seeing inside your RV and knowing what you have inside and whether or not you are home. With the lights on and the curtains closed, it looks like someone’s home.
Where are your Valuables?
Make sure your valuables are tucked away and out of sight!! Even better, keep them with you, keep them to a minimum, or lock them away.
Hopefully, this advice will help you feel more secure in your RV or when you store it for the season. Nothing can prevent the most determined thief, but these measures should deter most. Keep in mind that the likelihood of you being the victim of any theft is small, but it’s always good to be well prepared.
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